I’m scared to think about how much we spent on Christmas this year. I’ve avoided looking at our credit card bill, which we’ve been capping at $2,000 each month, because I knew we were going to go over. Way over. I tried to save money on Christmas gifts this year – but with a new baby in tow, and a lot of family coming to town for the holidays, we were more rushed than usual. Limited time means limited time to compare prices, look for deals, or make homemade gifts. I’m guessing we spent several hundred dollars on presents.
How much did you spend on Christmas gifts?
Here’s how much we spent on Christmas gifts.
- $110 for a 90-minute massage for my husband
- $41 for Perplexus Epic, a toy Bobbi recommended, for my husband
- $13 on three pairs of socks from TJ Maxx for my husband
- $32 for a Christmas stocking from Etsy
- $7 for a Play Doh fun center for Lucy
- $20 on a starter train set for Lucy
- $40 for two boxes of chocolate from See’s, my favorite chocolatier
- $42.33 gift card to Target for my sister using Cardpool
- $39.98 gift card to Victoria’s Secret for another sister
- $75 restaurant gift certificate for yet another sister
- $30 on socks for my sister and her husband
- $35 for two bags of caramels for various gifts
- $45 for a J.Crew shirt for my little brother
- $2 for three (used) books for my nephews from the library bookstore
- $6 wrapping paper
- $75 restaurant gift certificate for my Mom and step-father
- $100 cash gift to our niece
- $30 for a miniature Christmas display gift to my brother-in-law
- $28 on a party game for my sister-in-law
- $16 for a golf gag gift for my father-in-law
- $30 museum admission gift for my Dad
- $19.99 for a semi-rare hardback book for my half-sister
- $10.50 on a coffee cozy that looks like a cat for my half-sister
So my grand total Christmas spending comes to $847.80.
Oh. My God.
(This total doesn’t include the money my husband spent on the gifts he gave me.)
I thought that the total would be much, much lower. For the first time, we exchanged couple gifts (one way to save money with a creative gift exchange) with most of the adults. For example, we bought one gift for my sister and her husband, and they bought one gift for us. I guess couple gifts didn’t save us much money because we ended up buying a bigger gift. It did save a lot of time, however.
So why was my Christmas spending so high?
I have a big family, yes. (I don’t even exchange presents with all of them.) So there are lots of gifts to buy. And we enjoy being generous at Christmastime. We exchange fewer gifts for birthdays throughout the year, so this is one time we make a big splash. Perhaps too big of a splash.
But our total is actually lower than $847 because…
- I used a gift card for the J.Crew shirt (-$45)
- The starter train set was a toy I received free to review (-$20)
- I bought the Perplexus toy with an Amazon credit (-$41)
- The $39.98 Victoria’s Secret gift card only cost me $35.98 because I bought it at a 10% discount on Cardpool (-$4)
- The $42.33 Target gift card only cost me $41.06 because I bought it at a 3% discount on Cardpool (-$1.06)
So our Christmas spending was actually $736.74.
The really scary thing is that, despite the savings I pointed out, this total doesn’t include the holiday photo cards we ordered, the postage to send them out, our Christmas tree, and all the food we bought to have a houseful of family for a week. So if we totalled all of the money we spent related to Christmas, it would be well over $1,000.
Not that I regret the spending. No, I would do it all again. We save year round – as much as 26% of our income we stash away every month – so we won’t have any trouble paying off our credit card bill in full when the big Christmas statement comes due in a few weeks. But my eyes still bug out when I add up all the gifts.